Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder both on hard-hitting MMA star’s radar | Boxing | Sport

Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder both on hard-hitting MMA star's radar | Boxing | Sport

Anatoly Malykhin, a two-division ONE world champion, has expressed his interest in MMA-boxing crossover fights against big names like Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder, and Oleksandr Usyk. The 36-year-old Russian, known for his hard-hitting style in MMA, is eager to bring his power to the boxing ring. 

“If I can be an official representative of ONE Championship, and if Mr. Chatri [Sityodtong] allows me to, I’d venture into boxing,” Malykhin told the South China Morning Post. “Two boxers I’d like to face are Anthony Joshua, a good fight, and Oleksandr Usyk, another good fight. Deontay Wilder will be another good fight for me. His one-punch KO power, and my one-punch KO power, will be nice.”

Meanwhile, former two-time world heavyweight champion Joshua is preparing for a crossover fight of his own. He’s set to face ex-UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou, who nearly defeated the undefeated Tyson Fury in Saudi Arabia last year. Joshua and Ngannou are scheduled to meet next month in another high-profile Saudi fight.

The unified heavyweight champion, Usyk, has had his fight against Fury postponed until May due to Fury suffering a severe cut during training. This delay means that the undisputed heavyweight champion will be crowned later than expected.

Meanwhile, Malykhin seems most eager to face Wilder, who shares similar destructive abilities. However, Wilder suffered a convincing defeat to Joseph Parker last year, leaving the former world champion at a crucial point in his career.

Wilder attributed part of his loss to the extensive travel he had to undertake. “It was a boring fight, nothing really happened,” Wilder told ESNews. “I went right back to training the next day. He really didn’t do anything, they just went off the little flurries or whatever.

“In preparation for that, I had to travel twice, totalling 20 hours of travel. And those guys were already in Europe, they were only two or three hours away. I’m not complaining, I’m just stating what I had to go through.”

The Bronze Bomber further added: “Camp-wise, we were prepared for everything. Sparring went well, we didn’t get as much sparring as we wanted within the time frame we had, but we got some good sparring in.

“And the sessions that we did have were good, but when I got into the actual ring it was a bit difficult for me to pull the trigger as people saw. My timing was very off, I would return to the ring and think, ‘Damn, why can’t I pull the trigger? What the f***?’ I had those moments, but it’s okay.

“I’m glad I got to experience a lot of things that’s it in boxing. A lot of things I had to go through that I never thought I’d have to experience in life. But sometimes it’s like that.”

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